I was originally the No.9 member when Tom O'Neil launched GOLDDERBY back in the spring of 2001. Many other members, throughout this more-than-a-decade period, have been superb at having contributed insightful and valuable informationâ€”along with their perspectivesâ€”on the topics that have been discussed. It has all made for a pleasurable and high-quality Web site.
Sep 15, 2011
Apr 10, 2021
Forum Replies Created
March 28, 2021 at 3:28 am #1204162234
FreemanGriffin already listed my No. 1 pick: Kate Collins of ABC’s All My Children. Her run, as a series regular, was with seven seasons—the 1985–86 thru the 1991–92 seasons. Collins delivered Emmy-caliber work playing Natalie Hunter in four of those seasons: the 1985–86 season (her premiere, in which she was mesmerizing); the 1987–88 season (Natalie’s rape which, by the way, garnered Robert Gentry, as Ross who raped Natalie, a lead actor nomination); the 1989–90 season (unlikely pairing of Natalie and Trevor; James Kiberd belongs on the list for his work on this series and on ABC’s Loving, which was also award-worthy); and the 1991–92 season (introduction of Natalie’s twin Janet Green).
Who should also be on the list is 1973 Tony winner Patricia Elliott of ABC’s One Life to Live. As Renee Divine, the ex-madam and truelove of Asa Buchanan (Phil Carey, who also belongs on the list), Elliott showed us why reacting was as important as acting. And she didn’t come across like she was delivering a performance. Superb.
Among those who also belong on the list: Tonya Pinkins, a 1992 Tony winner, of AMC; Scott Holmes of CBS’s As the World Turns; Kristina [Malandro] Wagner of ABC’s General Hospital; Tina Sloan of CBS’s Guiding Light; Amelia Marshall of NBC’s Passions; and Kate Linder of CBS’s The Young and the Restless.November 6, 2020 at 9:45 am #1203821193
Where are the mods to stop this nonsense?
Ban this mellobruce.
Let’s continue the conversation here.
There is no “conversation.”
This is an area of GoldDerby for people who don’t go anywhere else for news. (And that is not why we have GoldDerby.)
There is no point to continuing this area of GoldDerby.October 7, 2020 at 1:37 am #1203764791
You can add Ingrid Bergman.
Her first two Oscars were in lead. Her third was in supporting.October 7, 2020 at 1:36 am #1203764789
Has any performer ever won in lead first before winning supporting?
Helen Hayes and Maggie Smith spring to mind. (Right now, I am not thinking of ever possibly applicable recipient as you had asked. But, both Hayes and Smith won their first Oscars in lead followed by their second in supporting.)September 16, 2020 at 12:23 am #1203709415
I am not surprised by the exit.
I am not surprised by the recast.
I am not generally tuning in the network daytime soaps like I used to. So, I cannot opine on specific qualities on NBC’s Days of Our Lives.
It is difficult not to perceive a form of politics playing a role in this. Some will say politics is everywhere. But, I would guess that Days of Our Lives and Melissa Reeves—at least one of the two parties—no longer felt a continuation (for the time being) was necessary. So, they have parted ways. (Again—for the time being.)August 6, 2020 at 12:11 pm #1203630510
From the Facebook page of Alan Locher:
“Guiding Light — The One You’ve Been Waiting For! Please join Maeve Kinkead (Vanessa Lewis), Rachel Miner (Michelle Bauer), Ellen Parker (Maureen Bauer) and Tina Sloan (Lillian Raines) on Wednesday, August 12th at 3:00PM EST in The Locher Room.”July 28, 2020 at 10:27 am #1203608627
I enjoy the analyses and criticisms from GoldDerby forum members. But, I did not watch enough of the 2019–20 television season to weigh in with opinions on these nominations. When it comes to the analyses and criticisms, and from getting a good sense of what people have observed and evaluated, I am old enough to recognize that this is familiar. It is good people’s careers do not depend on whether they receive award nominations and wins.July 28, 2020 at 8:41 am #1203607357
Why are these nominations being read so…
s-s-s-s-s-l-l-l-l-l-o-o-o-o-o-w-w-w-w-w-l-l-l-l-l-y-y-y-y-y?July 17, 2020 at 11:05 am #1203589374
The Daytime Emmys are now meaningless.
I write this because there are barely any soaps [drama series] left on ABC, CBS, and NBC.
The Daytime Emmys’ prestige—for those who think there was ever any in the first place—is gone.
I don’t care what National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) does with their Daytime Emmy Awards. What I want is for no one remaining in the business to lose out any further—and this is referencing the 2009 to 2012 cancellations with last-episode runs on the broadcast networks with CBS’s Guiding Light and As the World Turns and ABC’s All My Children and One Life to Live.July 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm #1203585511
Coming Friday, July 17, 2020, at 03:00 p.m. ET:
The Locher Room will welcome Rick Hearst, Sonja Satra, and Frank Beaty who played the triangle of Alan–Michael Spaulding, Lucy Cooper, and Brent Lawrence/Marian Crane on CBS’s Guiding Light.
That storyline played out 25 years ago as it was dominant in 1995. Beaty received an Emmy nomination for supporting actor. Hearst won the Emmy for younger actor in 1991 and received three more nominations until his series departure, same year as Beaty, in 1996. (Hearst won two more Emmys for his work on ABC’s General Hospital.) Satra, who first appeared in September 1993, left the series in the first quarter of 1997 (at which time a different actor was playing Alan–Michael to her Lucy).
I look forward to this. An earlier comment by me mentioned interest in seeing this trio.July 11, 2020 at 6:36 am #1203581004
Today there was an OLTL reunion which featured Erin Torpey, who played Jessica from the age of 8! and Melissa Archer, who played Natalie in the later years of the show. I didn’t remember either of the two male guests on the show- they played Joey and Kevin respectively, I think before Nathan Fillion and Dan Gautier??? (not sure!). It was a nice reunion!
Kirk Geiger and Chris L. McKenna.
I like Chris a lot. He was Joey Buchanan to Ryan Phillippe playing Billy Douglas with One Life to Live’s storyline about Billy being gay and the AIDS storyline. That was the 1992–93 television season.
A good Locher Room.July 9, 2020 at 12:44 pm #1203578412
‘Trump’s America Is Slipping Away’
He’s trying to assemble a winning coalition with a dwindling number of sympathetic white voters.
Donald Trump is running for the presidency of an America that no longer exists.
Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly reprised two of Richard Nixon’s most memorable rallying cries, promising to deliver “law and order” for the “silent majority.” But in almost every meaningful way, America today is a radically different country than it was when Nixon rode those arguments to win the presidency in 1968 amid widespread anti-war protests, massive civil unrest following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., white flight from major cities, and rising crime rates. Trump’s attempt to emulate that strategy may only prove how much the country has changed since it succeeded.
Americans today are far more racially diverse, less Christian, better educated, more urbanized, and less likely to be married. In polls, they are more tolerant of interracial and same-sex relationships, more likely to acknowledge the existence of racial discrimination, and less concerned about crime.
Almost all of these changes complicate Trump’s task in trying to rally a winning electoral coalition behind his alarms against marauding “angry mobs,” “far-left fascism,” and “the violent mayhem we have seen in the streets of cities that are run by liberal Democrats.” The Americans he is targeting with his messages of racial resentment and cultural backlash are uniformly a smaller share of American society now than they were then.
Not all of the country’s changes present headwinds for Trump. The population is older now, and older white voters in particular remain a receptive audience for Trump’s messages of cultural and racial division (even if his mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has notably softened his support among them). Fifty years ago, southern evangelicals still mostly leaned toward the Democratic Party; now they have become a pillar of the Republican coalition. And while many northern white Catholics back then might have recoiled from Trump-style attacks on immigrants as a smear on their own heritage, now “when Trump talks about making America great again,” more of them “see themselves as part of that country that is getting protected,” says Robert P. Jones, the founder and chief executive of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the author of White Too Long, a new book on Christian churches and white supremacy.
Together, those shifts have solidified for Republicans a much more reliable advantage among white voters without a college education than they enjoyed in Nixon’s era. Like Trump, who once declared “I love the poorly educated,” Nixon recognized that he was shifting the GOP’s traditional class basis. On “tough problems, the uneducated are the ones that are with us,” Nixon told his White House advisers, according to David Paul Kuhn’s vivid new book about the blue-collar backlash in that era, The Hardhat Riot. “The educated people and the leader class,” Nixon continued, “no longer have any character, and you can’t count on them.”
Trump might echo both of those assessments. But he is offering them to a very different audience. The demographic shifts that have most reshaped politics since Nixon’s day sit at the crossroads of race, education, and religion.
From the 2016 GOP primaries forward, white voters without a college education have provided Trump’s largest group of loyalists. In the 1968 presidential election, that group comprised nearly 80 percent of all voters, according to post-election surveys by both the Census Bureau and the University of Michigan’s American National Election Studies. White Americans holding at least a four-year college degree represented about 15 percent of voters, with nonwhite Americans, almost all of them Black, comprising the remainder, at just under 10 percent. (The Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz analyzed the ANES data for me.)
That electorate is unrecognizable now. The nonpartisan States of Change project has forecast that non-college-educated white Americans will likely constitute 42 percent of voters in November, slightly more than half their share in 1968. States of Change anticipates that both college-educated white voters and voters of color will represent about 30 percent of voters in 2020. For the former group, that’s about twice their share in 1968; for the latter, that’s somewhere between a three- and fourfold increase.
The change is just as dramatic when looking at the nation’s religious composition. White Christians comprised fully 85 percent of all American adults in 1968, according to figures from Gallup, provided to me by the senior editor Jeffrey M. Jones. They now represent only half as much of the population, 42 percent, according to PRRI’s latest national figures.
The groups that have grown since then reflect the nation’s increasing racial and religious diversity. In 1968, nonwhite Christians represented only 8 percent of Americans; now that’s tripled to just more than 24 percent in the PRRI study. Most explosive has been the growth of those who identify as secular or unaffiliated with any religious tradition. They represented just 3 percent of Americans in 1968; now it’s 24 percent.
Other shifts in society’s structure since that era are equally profound. Census Bureau reports show that a much smaller share of adults are married now than they were then. Only about half as many Americans live in small-town or rural communities outside of major metropolitan areas. The portion with at least some college experience is about triple its level then.
Across all of these dimensions, the consistent pattern is this: The groups Trump hopes to mobilize—non-college-educated, nonurban, married, and Christian white voters—have significantly shrunk as a share of the overall society in the past 50 years. The groups most alienated from him include many of the ones that have grown over those decades: college-educated white people, people of color, seculars, singles, and residents of the large metro areas.
Trump faces two other big challenges in channeling Nixon. One is that the crime rate, especially the rate of violent crime, doesn’t provide as compelling a backdrop for a law-and-order message as it did during the 1960s. The overall violent-crime rate increased by more than 50 percent just from 1964 to 1968, en route to doubling by the early 1970s. Robberies per person more than doubled from 1960 to 1968. The murder rate soared by 40 percent from 1964 to 1968; by 1972, it was nearly 85 percent higher than in 1964. In Gallup surveys from September 1968, 13 percent of college-educated white voters, 11 percent of non-college-educated white voters, and 9 percent of nonwhite voters identified crime as the biggest problem facing the nation.
Today, overall crime rates are much lower, a change that’s made possible the revival of central cities around the country. After violent crime peaked in 1991, it declined fairly steadily for about 15 years. It’s proved more volatile over the past decade: The violent-crime rate fell from 2008 to 2014, then rose through 2016 and has dipped again since. As Trump did in 2016, with his dark warnings about “American carnage” following the uptick in crime late in Barack Obama’s second term, he is again using recent findings of elevated murder rates in some cities to raise the specter of Democrats unleashing a new crime surge. “Despite the left-wing sowing chaos in communities all across the country … and the heart breaking murders in Democrat controlled cities like Chicago, New York City, and Atlanta, Joe Biden has turned his back on any semblance of law and order,” the Republican National Committee warned in a press release yesterday morning.
But James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, said that any crime spikes this year amount to “short-term fluctuation [in] a long-term trend” toward greater safety. “We’ve enjoyed, really since the early 1990s, a decline in crime,” he told me. “From year to year, some cities see decreases, some see increases, [but] there’s no crime wave … although Trump may want to construct one—a trumped-up one.”
Though polls generally show that concern about crime hasn’t fallen as fast as crime itself, Americans haven’t entirely missed this long-term trajectory: In June Gallup polling, just 3 percent of adults cited crime as the nation’s top problem, far less than in 1968.
Trump’s other big obstacle is that racial attitudes have shifted since then. That’s partly because people of color represent such a larger share of American society. But it’s also because college-educated and secular white Americans, who tend to hold more inclusive views on racial issues than non-college-educated and Christian white Americans, are also a bigger portion of the white population. Gallup polling in 1968 consistently documented a high level of white anxiety about the pace of racial change: Almost half of white Americans said the federal government was moving too fast to promote integration; two-thirds said Black people did not face discrimination in hiring; and, most striking, a bristling three-fifths majority supported a policy of shooting looters on sight during riots. On each front, college-educated white people were less likely to express conservative views than those without degrees, but even they split about evenly on these questions.
A half century later, racism remains ever present in America. But many more white people appear willing to acknowledge its persistence, especially in the national debate that has followed the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. A recent Monmouth poll found that most white people now agree [that] police are more likely to use deadly force against Black people, while CNN found that most white people agree that the criminal-justice system is biased. And although Trump has called Black Lives Matter “a symbol of hate,” three-fifths of white people expressed support for the movement in a June Pew Research Center poll. White people with a college degree were consistently more likely than those without one to express such liberal views on race, but these perspectives claimed significant support among non-college-educated white Americans as well.
Those attitudes point toward a final key difference from 1968. Back then, many anxious white voters genuinely believed Nixon could deliver law and order; but today, many white Americans, especially those with degrees, have concluded that Trump himself is increasing the risk of lawlessness and disorder. In one particularly striking result, Quinnipiac University last month found that college-educated white people were twice as likely to say that having Trump as president made them feel less safe rather than more safe. That’s a very different equation than Nixon faced: Though he may have considered “the uneducated” the most receptive audience for his hard-line messages, he overwhelmingly won college-educated white voters too, carrying about two-thirds of them in both of his victories, according to the ANES. Some recent polls have shown Trump carrying only one-third of them now.
Trump still has an audience for his neo-Nixonian warnings about an approaching wave of disorder: In that same Quinnipiac survey, a solid plurality of white voters without a degree said they feel safer with Trump as president (even though many blue-collar white people have also expressed unease about his response to the protests). In a PRRI poll last year, majorities of white Protestants, Catholics, and especially evangelicals said discrimination against white people was as big a problem as bias against minorities. Yet both of these groups—working-class and Christian white voters—will each likely comprise only about half as many of the voters in November as they did when Nixon prevailed five decades ago.
Those numbers won’t become any more favorable for Republicans in the years ahead: Although white Americans accounted for four-fifths of the nation’s total population growth from 1960 through 1968, the demographer William Frey noted in a recent report that all of the nation’s population growth since 2010 has been among people of color; the final 2020 Census, he concludes, will likely find that this has been the first decade ever when the absolute number of white people in the country declines. The shift in the nation’s religious composition is as unrelenting: Jones says that the share of adults in their 20s who identify as secular grew from 10 percent in 1986 to 20 percent in 1996 to nearly 40 percent in PRRI’s latest study. Only one-fourth of adults younger than 30 now identify as white Christians.
Trump hopes that reprising Nixon-style messages about disorder will allow him to mobilize massive margins and turnout among the white voters who feel threatened by these changes. But the country’s underlying evolution shows how narrow a path Trump has chosen. He is betting the Republican future on resurrecting a past that is dissolving before his eyes.July 5, 2020 at 3:51 am #1203567313
‘Republican internal polling signals a Democratic rout’
By Harry Enten | July 4, 2020
(CNN) — Whenever I hear an operative complain about public polling, I have just one thing to say: Put up or shut up. Release your own numbers that show the race in a different place than the public polling, or let the public polling stand. This is especially true in House races, where public polling is limited and there’s a real chance to shape the conventional wisdom.
Perhaps, it’s not surprising then that when one party puts out a lot more internal polls than normal, it is good for their side. Parties tend to release good polling when they have it. Since 2004, there has been a near perfect correlation (+0.96 on a scale from -1 to +1) between the share of partisan polls released by the Democrats and the November results.
Right now, Democrats and liberal groups are releasing a lot more surveys than Republicans, which suggests the public polling showing Democrats doing well is backed up by what the parties are seeing in their own numbers.
Democratic and liberal aligned groups have put out 17 House polls taken in April or later. Republican aligned groups have put out 0. That’s a very bad ratio for Republicans.
Interestingly, Republicans were the ones dominating the polling landscape in the first quarter of the year. From January through March, Republican and conservative groups released 10 polls compared with the Democrats’ 2.
The April turning point lines up well with when the coronavirus pandemic became the headline story of the year. It’s when President Donald Trump’s approval rating started an almost continuous decline that remains unabated.
In other words, it makes a lot of sense that Democrats started to dominate the House polling landscape in the past few months. They had a lot of good news for their side that they wanted out in the public. Republicans, meanwhile, were likely seeing numbers that wouldn’t make them look good.
Now, you might be wondering whether statewide internal polling is showing the same thing. Presidential elections are mostly won on the state level, after all. Unfortunately, the presidential campaigns aren’t putting out their own data, and partisan statewide polls have less of a chance to shape the narrative because there are so many public polls. Still, there are some outside groups that are releasing data, and we’re largely seeing the same picture as the district data portrays.
Since April, Democratic or liberal groups have released 30 statewide polls in the presidential race. Republicans have put out a mere 13. That means the Democratic share of statewide internal polls has been 70%.
All but four of the nine conservative or Republican sponsored polls have been from monthly Restoration PAC releases. And if anything, the polls that this group sponsors have been some of the worst for Trump recently.
This reminds me a lot of what happened just two years ago. Almost universally, Democrats were the ones publishing their House polls publicly. They went on to have a net gain of 40 seats in the House. Democrats also won the House popular vote by 9 points.
Indeed, the 2018 example speaks to a larger pattern going back since 2004. Although Democrats tend to publish more internal polls publically, they do very well when that advantage is overwhelming.
When Democrats put out 70% or more of the internal House polls, there is a big swing in their direction in terms of the popular vote. Since 2004, Republicans have never published 70% or more of the internal House polls. The only time there was anything close to this on the their (2010), they picked up more House seats than in any election in the last 70 years.
When Democrats put out around 60% of the internal House polls, the national environment is usually fairly unchanged from the prior election.
Anything less and Republicans are likely going to do well, such as the aforementioned 2010 election when Democrats share of the internal House polls released publicly was a mere 35%.
Democrats would definitely take a political environment that is mostly the same as it was in 2018. The numbers out recently suggest it could be even better for them. They point to a national political environment in which they’re favored by double digits.
For Republicans, something needs to change or they’re going to get blown out come November.June 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm #1203553435
‘The Sun Belt Spikes Could Be a Disaster for Trump’
Democrats were already gaining ground in the region before the pandemic hit.
By Ronald Brownstein | June 25, 2020
The wildfire of coronavirus cases burning through the Sun Belt’s largest cities and suburbs could accelerate their movement away from President Donald Trump and the GOP—a dynamic with the potential to tip the balance in national elections not only in 2020, but for years to come.
Until the 2016 election, Republicans had maintained a consistent advantage in the region’s big metros—including Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Phoenix—even as Democrats took hold of comparable urban centers in other parts of the country. But under Trump, the GOP has lost ground in these diverse and economically thriving communities. And now, a ferocious upsurge of COVID-19 across the Sun Belt’s population hubs—including major cities in Florida and North Carolina where Democrats are already more competitive—is adding a new threat to the traditional Republican hold on these places.
“There’s a lag between the trends that we have seen in some of these big northern metropolitan areas and the southern metros,” Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University, told me. “But they are definitely going in that same direction.”
In 2016, Trump won all five of the large Sun Belt states that could be battlegrounds in November. But the improving Democratic performance in the big metros provides Joe Biden a beachhead to contest each of them. Polls consistently give the former vice president a lead in Arizona and Florida, show him and Trump locked closely in North Carolina, and provide the president only a small edge (at best) in Texas and Georgia. New York Times/Siena College polls released today give Biden solid leads in Arizona, Florida, and North Carolina, and commanding advantages in the major population centers of each state, including Phoenix, Miami, Charlotte, and Raleigh. Fox News polls also released today show Biden leading Trump narrowly in North Carolina, Georgia, and (even) Texas, while opening up a comfortable 9-point advantage in Florida. Among suburban voters, Biden led by 20 percentage points or more in each of those states except Texas, where suburbanites still preferred him by 9 points.
After winning one Arizona Senate seat in 2018, Democrats are also pressing to capture Republican-held Senate seats in Arizona, North Carolina, and Georgia, and more suburban House seats near Raleigh, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, and Tampa, among others.
Even the Republicans relatively confident that Trump’s grip on rural voters will allow him to hold most, if not all, of these states recognize the implications of a trend that has them losing ground in the communities that are preponderantly driving economic and population growth.
“The trends of 2016, ’17, ’18 are continuing apace, with continuing weakness of the Republican brand in suburban areas that had traditionally voted Republican, coupled with strengthening of the Republican brand in rural areas that had traditionally voted Democrat,” Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster who has long specialized in southern suburbs, told me. “The problem, of course, is that the Republicans are trading larger, faster-growing areas for smaller, slower-growing areas, and the math does not work out in the long run with that sort of trade.”
The new twist in this ongoing reconfiguration is the coronavirus. After weeks in which the outbreak did not hit the southern metropolitan areas nearly as hard as major northern cities, the number of new cases in and around Sun Belt cities is exploding. “If we stay on this current trajectory, then we will overwhelm our hospitals” in July, Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, told me yesterday, echoing the public alarms of many mayors across the region.
The trend lines are daunting. From May 23 through Tuesday [June 23], the total number of confirmed cases more than doubled in the counties centered on Austin (Travis), Houston (Harris), and Dallas; nearly doubled in Fort Worth (Tarrant); and roughly tripled in San Antonio (Bexar). In Maricopa County, Arizona, which comprises Phoenix and its sprawling suburbs, the total number of cases more than quadrupled from 8,151 on May 23 to 34,992 yesterday. In Florida, daily new cases in Miami-Dade County rose from 113 on May 24 to 947 on June 22. The map of cumulative cases maintained by the Georgia Department of Public Health is a soothing shade of blue across most of the state—except for the bright red marking Atlanta and its sizable surrounding suburbs of DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett counties. Statewide, both Florida and Texas announced more than 5,500 new cases yesterday, a record for each. (California, the largest Sun Belt state, is also suffering a surge, but it is not politically competitive, with Biden enjoying a huge lead there.)
Public-health experts expect the numbers to continue rising for weeks. In Arizona, “we are experiencing a second surge after an early-May plateau,” Joe Gerald, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health, told me. “This surge is much larger than the first one and basically our foot is still on the accelerator. It is going to get worse before it gets better.”
In Texas, Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, described the situation in equally ominous terms. “I’m extremely worried,” he told me. “I sometimes use the word dire because the numbers are just accelerating so dramatically. If you look at the curve [of case growth], it’s very much an exponential curve.”
Both Gerald and Hotez, like Adler, told me that if the current trend is not slowed, hospitals’ capacity in their areas will be overwhelmed in the next few weeks. “The implications are: We’ll see in Houston what we saw in New York City in the spring, which is a surge on intensive-care units and hospitalizations, and we’ll reach or exceed capacity,” Hotez said. “You don’t want to do that, because that’s when the mortality rates start to climb.” Yesterday, Houston’s massive Texas Medical Center projected it could exceed its intensive-care capacity by as soon as today. Coronavirus hospitalizations in the Houston area have nearly tripled since Memorial Day, the Houston Chronicle has reported.
Likewise, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized in Maricopa has more than doubled since late May, and just 12 percent of the state’s intensive-care-unit beds were available as of yesterday. The pressure on local medical workers is growing so intense that Ross Goldberg, the president of the Arizona Medical Association, told me the state may soon need to ask for volunteer health-care professionals from other states, as New York did earlier this year. “Obviously there is going to be a finite amount of space and a finite amount of staff,” Goldberg, a surgeon in Phoenix, said. “Is this a time where we start looking for help elsewhere? That is something we need to be considering.”
Across almost all of the Sun Belt states, the spikes are exacerbating tensions between Republican governors who rely mostly on suburban and rural areas for their votes, and Democratic local officials in the most populous cities and counties. Taking cues from Trump, Republican Governors Ron DeSantis in Florida, Brian Kemp in Georgia, Greg Abbott in Texas, and Doug Ducey in Arizona have all moved aggressively to reopen their state economies; refused to deviate from that course as the caseloads have increased; and blocked municipal officials from reversing or even slowing the pace of the reopening.
The one concession from DeSantis, Abbott, and Ducey has been to allow local governments to require some degree of mask wearing. But experts say that requirement alone, especially given the uncertainties of compliance and enforcement, cannot stop the rapidly rising caseload in these states. “I don’t think [masks] are going to be sufficient to slow the spread or prevent us from exceeding our hospital capacity,” Gerard told me.
Very little polling is available to show how voters across these Sun Belt states are reacting to the surge in new cases or the determination of the GOP governors to plow forward despite them. Mike Noble, who polls for nonpartisan clients in Arizona, told me that in his surveys this year, most residents have consistently worried more about reopening too quickly than too slowly—though with a sharp partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans. He told me that he expects his next survey in early July to show heightened anxiety and diminished confidence in Ducey’s handling of the outbreak.
“I assume voters will be souring,” Noble said. “We thought originally that here in the desert, we’re not going to be affected.”
The core political question in the large Sun Belt metro areas may be whether residents are grateful that their governors have given them more freedom to resume daily activities or resentful that they have put them at greater risk by reopening so widely. Ayres said the answer is likely some of both. “I really think there’s a limit to how long you can enforce a rigid lockdown in a country where freedom and liberty are core values,” he told me. “That said, it is now impossible to dismiss this pandemic as a hoax or just the flu or any of the other dismissive appellations that have been applied to it.”
For Trump and the GOP, an urban/suburban backlash against these Republican governors—combined with a broader negative verdict on the federal pandemic response—risks accelerating the trends reshaping metropolitan politics across the Sun Belt.
After advancing in the populous white-collar suburban areas in the Northeast, the Midwest, and California during the 1990s, followed by gains in the metros of Virginia, Colorado, and North Carolina starting around 2004, Democrats are now finally seeing the same trends fortify their position in the Sun Belt population centers.
Take Gwinnett and Cobb counties, outside Atlanta. In 2014, Republican Senator David Perdue, who’s up for reelection in November, won comfortable margins of about 55 percent in each. In 2016, though, Hillary Clinton won both by relatively narrow margins against Trump, and in 2018, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Stacey Abrams, carried them more resoundingly. Abramowitz expects them to continue moving toward the Democrats in 2020, with margins sufficient enough to give Biden and Perdue’s Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, a competitive shot at the state, and also to flip an open U.S. House seat in Gwinnett.
In Texas, the arc looks similar. The University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray has charted a clear blue bend in voters’ political preferences in the 27 counties that comprise the state’s four huge metro areas—Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin—which together account for about 70 percent of the state’s votes and jobs. As recently as 2012, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won 55 percent of the vote across them. But in 2016, Trump fell just under 50 percent, the first GOP nominee to lose them since Barry Goldwater running against native son Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In 2018, Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke carried all four of those metros with 54 percent of the vote.
Murray said he expects Biden to capture as much as 58 percent in November. With the higher presidential-year turnout, he predicts, that could produce an advantage of more than 1 million votes for Biden in and around those four cities. Murray said there is no guarantee Trump can squeeze out enough rural votes to hold Texas. But even if he does, the GOP faces some brutal arithmetic: As Ayres and Murray both noted, it’s relying more and more on the places that are shrinking or stagnant in population while retreating in the growing places. This problem is especially acute in Texas, Murray said, because the metropolitan areas are among the nation’s fastest growing, and they are becoming much more racially diverse as they expand.
Paul Begala, the veteran Democratic strategist and a Houston native, predicts this realignment will be on hyperdrive because of the pandemic. “People in the suburbs today more readily identify with their neighbors in the city than they do with folks 100 miles away who refuse to wear a mask,” he told me. “That’s a tectonic change. The suburbs exist because people there didn’t want to be around people in the cities. But the shift has been happening for quite some time, and this COVID makes it worse.”
Gains for Democrats in the Texas suburbs sufficient to allow them to win statewide would likely qualify as the most significant political development of the 2020s. But for November, Arizona is the state where these dynamics may matter most. Many Democrats see Arizona, which Democrats have carried only once since 1948, as Biden’s best chance to reach 270 Electoral College votes if he can’t dislodge Trump’s hold on either Wisconsin or Florida.
Maricopa County is the key to those hopes. It was the biggest county in America that Trump won in 2016, when he carried it by almost 45,000 votes. But in 2018, it propelled the Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema to her victory when she took it by about 60,000 votes. Noble’s recent polls have consistently found both Biden and Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly leading their respective Republican opponents by roughly double digits in the sprawling county—unprecedented in recent years for Democrats. As Noble noted, only one Republican (a superintendent of public instruction, in 2014) has recently won a statewide race while losing Maricopa, no matter how much Republicans run up the score, as Trump is likely to do, in the state’s rural regions. “They are still in trouble in Maricopa County,” he said.
Both a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the 2018 results that Noble conducted and his monthly polling this year have convinced him that Republicans are leaking support from two groups in Maricopa: college-educated white voters (especially women) and seniors. Both populations are among those who have expressed the most concern about the coronavirus, even before the fearsome surge now buffeting the area.
Trump’s response? When he stopped in Maricopa for a rally in north Phoenix on Tuesday, he did not wear a mask or require one for those attending the event, despite public pleas to do so from Mayor Kate Gallego. He barely mentioned the outbreak in his 90-minute speech. In other words, even while visiting metropolitan Phoenix, Trump’s focus seemed to be on his preponderantly white base in the exurban and rural communities beyond it. Across the Sun Belt, November will test whether Trump’s base-first strategy can overcome the resistance that’s coalescing against him in the population centers now confronting the full force of the coronavirus outbreak.June 24, 2020 at 5:52 am #1203549398
‘Trump’s re-election strategy is all wrong — and his staffers know it’
By Andrew Feinberg | June 23, 2020
With just over 130 days remaining until the jury that is the American electorate renders a verdict on the previous 1,383 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, his campaign for reelection has backed itself into a corner.
The presumptive Democratic nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, has opened up a national polling lead that a recent Fox News poll estimates could be as large as 12 percentage points among registered voters.
In the state-by-state polling that can forecast the winner of the Electoral College, Biden leads in nearly all the so-called battleground states (including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.) He’s also polling within the margin of error in solidly Republican states like Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia, and Texas. And all these numbers came in before Americans saw how Donald Trump could only draw a paltry crowd of just 6,200 people in Tulsa, Oklahoma (after predicting an audience of millions in a state he carried with over 65 percent of the vote four years ago) to watch him deliver a rambling, disjointed speech to a mostly empty arena, outside of which a construction crew was breaking down an outdoor stage that the Trump campaign had built for overflow crowds who simply turned out not to exist.
For just under two hours, the President of the United States put on a show that The Recount editor-in-chief compared to an overweight, drugged-out Elvis Presley in his final years. And while Trump got the familiar cheers for all the familiar hits — attacks on “crooked Hillary,” Barack Obama, and “fake news,” plus “build the wall” and “lock her up” chants, complaints about so-called sanctuary cities and rants about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem — his attempts to introduce new material into his act generally fell flat.
Instead of making the case for his reelection — and against electing Biden — Trump spent most of the time attacking old enemies and airing grievances both old and new. At one point, he devoted a full 16 minutes to explaining why it was that he appeared to have serious trouble descending a ramp during an appearance at West Point the previous week. At another, he crossed from dog-whistles into out-and-out racism with an attack on Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, who, he said, “would like to make the government of our country just like the country from where she came, Somalia”.
Trump went on to lament that Omar, a sitting member of Congress who came to the US as a refugee after her family fled Somalia, is “telling us how to run our country”.
And to the extent he previewed his case against Biden, Trump largely stuck to the now-familiar claims that the former Vice President is too feeble or senile to lead the country — a claim which, judging from Biden’s seven-point lead in Florida, appears to be falling flat with senior citizens.
That Saturday’s trip to Tulsa was a disaster for Trump and a boost for Biden was not lost on members of the president’s team. When your intrepid correspondent texted a Trump campaign staffer to ask their opinion of the night’s events, the staffer replied: “Biden should have to report our costs to the [Federal Election Commission] as a campaign contribution”.
According to a report in Vanity Fair, Trump is now considering a campaign shake-up that would make a scapegoat of campaign manager Brad Parscale, the political neophyte who was his 2016 campaign’s digital director, and potentially elevate veteran Trumpworlders Bill Stepien and Jason Miller. And the Trump campaign is also doubling down on the “Biden is senile” messaging with a now-failed attempt to goad Biden into agreeing to add an extra debate to the three-night schedule of debates organized by a bipartisan commission.
But veterans of past presidential campaigns from both parties are not sure anything the campaign can do will make a difference at this point.
Stuart Stevens, the veteran GOP strategist who advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, said it won’t matter who is nominally in charge of the campaign because the only people Trump will ultimately listen to are his sons, his daughter, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“Trump is Tony Soprano: He’s ultimately only gonna trust the family, and they have no idea what they’re doing,” Stevens said. “The whole campaign reminds me of somebody goes to a cocktail party, has some drinks, drives home safely, and decides that alcohol helps you drive.”
Stevens explained that Trump and his team have learned all the wrong lessons from his narrow 2016 victory.
“On a basic level, Trump won because he ran in a year in which a Republican could win with 46.1 percent of the vote, when third-party votes increased, and the non-white vote declined for the first time in 20 years. Trump has always had a very small margin that they took as a mandate and they never tried to expand their electorate,” he said, adding that the massive Black Lives Matter protests that have swept across the country could also be considered get-out-the-vote rallies for Biden, particularly since Trump is running as a “white grievance candidate”.
Trump’s Tulsa debacle, he said, shows the folly of running a campaign based more on mechanics — large rallies, data collection, digital metrics, turnout operations — than on message.
“It’s not that that stuff doesn’t matter, but it’s a lot less important than overall messaging,” he said, adding that Trump’s recent embrace of a “law and order” message in the mould of Richard Nixon is doomed to fail because the demographics of 2020 are not close to what they were in previous years.
“In 1980, Ronald Reagan wins a 44-state sweeping landslide, with 55 percent of the white vote, but in 2008, John McCain lost with 55 percent of the white vote. So it’s a very different country,” he said. “They’re looking at the 1960’s model with Nixon, but Trump isn’t Nixon, the country is different, and they seem unable to embrace that reality,” he went on, adding that it was unlikely that Trump would be able to attract any top-tier talent to replace Parscale or anyone else he might get rid of in a staff shake-up: “Why would you want to do that [work for Trump] — who has benefited from any association with Donald Trump? You’re just being brought in there as a scapegoat.”
It’s unlikely that the campaign will succeed as long as Trump’s son-in-law remains involved, Stevens said: “Jared Kushner, maybe he’ll reach 27 books on how to run campaigns instead of the 26 he read on the Mideast. As far as I know, he has singularly failed at everything he’s attempted in government.”
Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele said Trump’s campaign appears to relying on a message that activates the most partisan of his supporters by arguing that electing Biden — and Democrats in general — would be worse than anything that could happen during a second Trump term, but he cautioned that circumstances have undermined that message.
“Trump has been trying to ignite that passion that flame again, but the problem — the cold water on that — is Covid-19, a poor economy, and now, bad race relations,” he said. “None of these voters want to be sick. They’ve either lost a job or been furloughed, so they’ve been impacted by the economy, and none of them wants to be called a racist. So the narrative that Trump is trying to push is running up against a very hard reality, and that’s the great irony here, that reality is smacking up against the reality TV presidency.”
“You’ve got a 133-day window now,” he continued. “In politics, that’s a lifetime… but the reality for the campaign is, given the way the President has refused to dial back the stuff that’s drawing that’s moving people off of him and dial back into things that could strengthen his hand, the window to turn things around keeps narrowing.”
Like Stevens, Steele said Trump and his team have learned all the wrong lessons from his narrow victory four years ago.
“Trump does not realize the source of his win in 2016, and does not fully appreciate that that election was less about him and more about Hillary, and now when given an opportunity to evaluate… his leadership, his temperament, his demeanor, and his policies… against a Joe Biden, they’re not afraid of Biden the way they were afraid of Hillary Clinton,” he said.
And as for the Trump campaign’s demands for an additional debate and their attempts to define Biden as a mentally deficient, debilitated shadow of a figure, Steele said such a strategy was not one devised by people who are operating in reality.
“They’re not working in a real world — they’re working in Trump’s world, so everybody has to pretend that what the President is thinking and feeling about this is exactly how it is or how it’s going to play out,” he said, adding that Biden would be “very well prepared” for this fall’s debates.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines, a longtime Hillary Clinton aide who played Trump during her 2016 debate preparations, called Trumpworld’s apparent hope that Biden would implode during debates “magical thinking with a Hail Mary,” and said that such a belief was ironic, given Trump’s tendency to damage himself every time he opens his mouth.
“I don’t know why you would look at his primary performances and think people are going to be left with a bad taste in their mouth, because irrespective of how you want to grade his performances, he went on to win the nomination in resounding form,” he added.
Reines called the Trump campaign’s attempts to define Biden as senile and unfit as a “caricature” that “is not anywhere near reality,” and predicted that voters watching Biden and Trump side-by-side on a debate stage would come away with a favorable impression of Biden and questions about whether Trump was suffering from significant health issues.
“It’s strange, given the particular vulnerabilities of Donald Trump and the particular strengths of Joe Biden, that they think putting [them side-by-side] somehow benefits Trump. If anything, it reinforces the very attributes and behavior that have created the problem he is in,” he said. “What Trump is suffering from, with every day that goes by, there are more and more people trusting their own two eyes. And maybe that’s his own doing because he’s told them not to trust anything and that’s all they’re left with, but in that calculus, Joe Biden is the winner.”
Steele, too, panned the idea that a single Biden gaffe made during a debate would somehow reverse Trump’s fortunes, noting that the reason Biden’s lead has been so consistent despite previous a reputation as a self-described “gaffe machine” is because people know and like him.
Biden, he said, is the uncle who everyone wants to be at Thanksgiving dinner, even if he might say some off-color or confusing things, while Trump is the uncle who everyone wants to leave after he shows up late and gets drunk.
“With Uncle Joe, they’re like: ‘I’m glad he’s here,’ but with Uncle Trump, it’s, ‘When does he go? When does he leave?’” he said. “So that’s the selection, and if you don’t appreciate how that impacts the way voters look at this, you’re going to make some dumb mistakes.”